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Apple takes issue with post-trial decision timeline, asks court to reschedule hearings

In a late Thursday filing, Apple requested Apple v. Samsung presiding Judge Lucy Koh to reconsider the scheduling of post-trial decisions, saying that the current timeline may dissolve an existing Galaxy Tab ban prematurely.

Apple's motion to reconsider, first reported by FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, points out the court's scheduling orders have "created a severe imbalance in the schedule for addressing injunctive relief" against Samsung's products, such as the current Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban.

After the Apple v. Samsung verdict was handed down last week, both parties immediately filed for post-trial decisions, one of which was a Samsung motion to dissolve the existing Galaxy Tab injunction in light of the jury's findings of non-infringement for that specific device. The request to dissolve followed Apple's own proposal for a preliminary injunction against eight smartphones made by the Korean company found to have violated its design and utility patents. Also scheduled for debate are so-called "Rule 50" motions to overrule certain jury decisions, for example Apple will be arguing against the ruling that its D'889 iPad patent was not infringed.

Mueller notes the issue is not merely about scheduling as Samsung can potentially be allowed to restart sales of its tablets in the U.S. before the lucrative holiday season.

Galaxy Tab 10.1

Judge Koh on Tuesday rescheduled the post-trial hearings, consolidating Apple's permanent injunction motion with the Rule 50 discussions in the interest of expediency. Originally, Apple's sales ban argument was scheduled for Sept. 20, but was pushed back to Dec. 6 with Samsung's motion to dissolve taking its place. This causes the asymmetry Apple mentioned in its recent filing as a dissolving of the current Galaxy Tab injunction can potentially be overturned with a favorable Rule 50 decision.

From Apple's request:
As explained […], Apple’s motion for injunctive relief is more urgent than Samsung’s request to dissolve the injunction. Samsung’s motion certainly should not be addressed before Apple’s motion for injunctive relief.

While the motion to reschedule may seem to be directly aimed to uphold the sales ban against Samsung's tablet before Christmas, Mueller says "there's much more to it," explaining that the existing injunction is not limited to the Galaxy Tab 10.1, but "also covers any future products that are 'no more than colorably different.'" This means Samsung can't launch any future products that resemble the iPad if the injunction remains in place.

Apple's request itself won't produce a symmetrical schedule, however Judge Koh will need to divulge her reasoning as to why Samsung's motion to dissolve takes precedence over a hearing for a new injunction and Rule 50 discussions.

It remains unclear as to whether Apple will be successful in its request, however Judge Koh will issue an order regarding the matter soon.